11 Amazing Historical Snapshots From One of the World's Best Archives

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The J. Paul Getty Museum is home to troves of fascinating historical artifacts. And last week, the museum announced a project to give the public unfettered access to it. The Open Content Program makes 4,600 high-resolution images available for free and for any use whatsoever. Here are 11 gems to help begin your historical journey.


Carleton Watkins, Cathedral Rock - Yosemite, 1861, Albumen silver print.

Carleton Watkins took a whole mess of beautiful pictures of Yosemite and the American West before Ansel Adams was even born!

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William Henry Jackson, Dale Creek Bridge, Union Pacific Railway, 1885, Albumen silver print.

This... reminds me of an old-timey hyperloop.

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Roger Fenton, Dinornis Elephantopus, 1854 - 1858, Salted paper print.

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Louis-Émile Durandelle, Exposition universelle de 1889 / État d'avancement, 1888, Albumen silver print.

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Anna Atkins and Anne Dixon, Leucojam Varium, 1854, Cyanotype.

A great example of a photogram (placing an object directly on photo-sensitive paper), by one of the first female photographers, Anna Atkins.

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Unknown (photographer) , Moon Crater, late 1850s, Salted paper print from a Collodion negative.

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A.J. Russell, Commodore Dead, American, April 1864, Albumen silver print.

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Eadweard J. Muybridge, Running (Galloping), 1878 - 1879.

Muybridge is often credited with ushering in the age of the motion picture. His high-speed sequential photographs predated the first movie cameras and projectors later in the 19th century.

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Unknown (illuminator) , Two Diagrams Showing the Orbits of the Sun and the Moon, Franco-Flemish, fourth quarter of 13th century (after 1277).

It's amazing to see those old geocentric theories actually put down on paper in a visual way!

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Doris Ulmann, Darkroom Still Life, 1918, Platinum print.

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Walker Evans, Couple at Coney Island, 1928.

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Check out the complete database of the Getty Open Content Program with over 4,600 photographs, paintings, drawings, other images to download for free. Drop your finds in the comments, below! [Getty Open Content]

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DISCUSSION

Not sure I'd trust 1885 bridge technology. They just eyeballed a lot of stuff back then.

"300 ton train? Eh...this should hold it."